Former Fannin resident allegedly identified as “zip tie guy” in Capitol riot

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WASHINGTON DC – FBI tracked down with the public’s help the alleged “zip tie guy” and identified him as Erik Munchel using context clues in the Capitol Hill photographs.

The zip tie guy was covered head to toe with few identifying markers, which led to close examinations of any photo with the individual.

Once identified, Nashville Police arrested Munchel over the weekend. In a statement the United States Attorney’s Office said:

“Eric Gavelek Munchel, of Tennessee, was charged with one count of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and one count of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. Munchel was arrested today in Tennessee.

It is alleged that Munchel was inside of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Photos depicting his presence show a person who appears to be Munchel carrying plastic restraints, an item in a holster on his right hip, and a cell phone mounted on his chest with the camera facing outward, ostensibly to record events that day.”

Munchel’s now-removed Facebook page listed him as a Fannin County High School graduate. He was living in Nashville, working as a bartender.

The ATF and FBI continue to urge the public to report suspected use of explosive devices, or violent, destructive acts associated with the recent unrest. Anyone with information can call 1-888-ATF-TIPS (1-888-283-8477), email [email protected] or submit information anonymously via

The FBI is looking for individuals who may have incited or promoted violence of any kind. Anyone with digital material or tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or submit images or videos at

Feature image courtesy of Josh Breslow.

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